The operating system is the software component that provides abstraction of physical hardware, and provides a generalized model for application software to execute without the need for specific hardware knowledge. Questions on the topic of operating system security should use this tag; you may also ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

2
votes
4answers
1k views

Tails like OS for Smartphones

In Jacob Applebaum's latest talk at the 30c3 conference, he advised all journalists to use Tails or similar OS for their laptops. Does anyone know of a similar OS or functionality for Smartphones? ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

Can hackers detect my operating system?

I've seen people demonstrating the use of backtrack to attack VMs. In one of the components of backtrack, it shows the operating system of the targets. Since support for Windows XP is ending soon, i ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Trust a possibly compromised system for iso downloads

My only operational computer has shown some wierd signs like disapearing logs, rotated logs gone random files getting updated and so on. Tho this is my only operational computer and I have decided to ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Where does Active Directory store user hashes?

During a penetration test for a client, having an infrastructure with multiple (5) Active Directory Servers (Win Serv 2008 R2)... I found a nice exploit to drop a system shell in one of the servers, ...
4
votes
3answers
610 views

Is Chrome in Metro Mode more secure than Chrome in Desktop Mode?

With Windows 8, Microsoft introduces the Metro Apps which run in a sandbox environment, and therefore should be more secure. I would be interested to know if this higher security that the metro apps ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

Creating New Acc in Mac Mail 1st Connect to Server not SSL is uname & pw tx secure?

It appears that whenever you set up a new mail account on Mac Mail on OS X (or iPhone, iPad etc), that as soon as you enter the server and the mail account user name and password, Mac Apple-Mail tries ...
3
votes
0answers
116 views

BSD encryption advantages [closed]

If someone who knows about the BSD project has a moment to answer this, I'm wondering a few things about the encryption used. It's more than what I'm finding in the docs and on Wiki/Google (even the ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

access control-intersection of subjects’ permissions

In the book named "operating system security", I read this paragraph: "Protection domains can also be constructed from an intersection of the associated subjects (e.g., Windows 2000 Restricted ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

DLL preloading attack - are IAT libraries affected too?

I'm about to distribute a dll library (there's also a linux version) to my users but I'm afraid of dll preloading attacks (i.e. someone substituting its malicious dll to get called by mine and gain ...
6
votes
4answers
620 views

Security of different OS

At my work we are given a computer to set up at home so if we ever feel like working from home we can do so. The thing is that whenever it comes to developing for java I always prefer using windows or ...
44
votes
5answers
3k views

What does Mark Shuttleworth mean by “we have root”?

In a blog post in response to the Amazon privacy controversy, Mark Shuttleworth wrote: Don’t trust us? Erm, we have root. You do trust us with your data already. You trust us not to screw up on ...
2
votes
2answers
144 views

Is bugged CPU mean “gameover” for whole Computer? [closed]

I'm looking for answer on such question. Imagine that CPU bugged on the factory simply like Blue Pill, but for the network's interconnections. How exactly firewall of OS could protect station ...
1
vote
2answers
213 views

Preventing exploits like ROP and Return-to-libc in modern Operating systems

As I was reading about the advanced exploits such as Return Oriented Programming (ROP), Retun-to-libc, etc., I came across many defenses to these attacks including techniques like ASLR, kBouncer, ROP ...
0
votes
1answer
237 views

Have there been any instances of malware in custom ROMs for Android?

Have there been any instances of malware or spyware packaged in custom ROMs, for example a malicious email app pre-installed that records your server IMAP username and password and forwards it to a ...
1
vote
1answer
520 views

Spoofing OS during browsing

I am using http://www.mybrowserinfo.com/ to gather some info about me while browsing. I want to change my OS to appear that its a Windows Xp machine.(No VM solutions please:D) If you have any ...
0
votes
2answers
121 views

VM security, how to access main OS

Is there any way for me to access the main computer if the VM has been infected? Let's say that I am running Debian or ubuntu in a VM and the main computer uses Windows (or other way around just so ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the most secure operating system out there? [closed]

Unfortunately, endpoint security is so terrifically weak that NSA can frequently find ways around it. -Edward Snowden Would it be safe to assume that every popular linux distro out there has a ...
-1
votes
2answers
188 views

Android OS Security [closed]

I am somewhat confused in terms of how secure Android OS is and how updates work on Android. Are there security fixes on each release? How can I keep track for Android exploits and what are the most ...
-9
votes
2answers
3k views

Remotely destroy all the data from a laptop having windows? [closed]

How can i remotely destroy all the data from a laptop having windows 7 as the OS? Is there a way to do that?
1
vote
1answer
321 views

OS fingerprinting protection - why not by default?

This article describes how to fool nmap in it's OS fingerprinting detection. In short, nmap sends malformed packets to open and closed ports and listens to the responses. Because every OS implements ...
5
votes
4answers
701 views

How to hack a Win95 machine?

While playing with old operating systems, I came across that there are no remote code execution exploits available for Win95 machines, running just file share (no IIS or anything else). Win95 neither ...
-4
votes
2answers
11k views

Why do some people think Linux is more secure than Windows? [duplicate]

I have no idea if Linux is more secure than windows. I think Linux is more secure but I want to know what is going at kernel level. Somebody told me that Linux have only one main kernel and has it ...
6
votes
1answer
167 views

Are the Trends of Type II Hypervisors and Newer Applications a Security Issue?

It seems that every time I have a new 'binge' at using the likes of VirtualBox or VMWare (the Type II version), they've introduced even more high-level features, often ones that remove layers between ...
4
votes
1answer
177 views

Securing a Site: Diversity over Simplicity?

This question was derived from my off-topic questioning here: Does Centralisation Decrease the Probability but Increase the Damage of Exploits? Like before, I suspect this may be overly abstract as a ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How secure is the Windows 8 “Reset your PC” function?

Windows 8 has a feature to "Reset your PC" so that if someone needs to give their computer away, the recipient won't be able to recover data. How secure is it?
9
votes
2answers
156 views

Does Centralisation Decrease the Probability but Increase the Damage of Exploits?

This question is, perhaps, a tad too abstract for a Q&A site. But it's been playing on my mind for a while, so I'm throwing it out there. Modern systems seem to be increasingly centralised. An ...
7
votes
4answers
262 views

Alternatives to the “open PC” security model

Today, PCs (laptops, desktops, etc.) generally work under what I'll call the "open PC" security model. Users have full, system administrator/developer-level access to their own machine. Users can ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Loading of fake Library attack

Let's supose i have an executable file a.exe and it uses stdlib for some operations. Let's suppose an attacker changes the system stdlib to a "malicious" stdlib. The implications of this might be ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Designing a Sandbox for Windows

I am thinking about the design for a sandbox, which is able to execute arbitrary unmodified, untrusted binaries. The goal is to implement an application Unlike something like e.g. Google Chrome's ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Security test lab setup [closed]

I want to setup a testing lab in my basement for penetration/vulnerability testing & offensive/defensive security skills. I believe I have all the equipment that I need, and if I'll need something ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

How secure are iPhone/Android/Windows 8 “PIN”/Pattern Lock features?

Most modern (and tablet-oriented) operating systems now offer alternative ways of logging on other than a strong password. For example, iPhones offer a 4-digit PIN, Android devices offer this and a ...
2
votes
4answers
812 views

If someone steals my laptop while I'm logged in, how can I protect my browser?

My question has its roots in an xkcd from this week: http://xkcd.com/1200/ Isn't this true and ironic? We place so much emphasis on browser security and OS security -- and rightly so -- yet if I ...
16
votes
8answers
806 views

Should the requirement of admin privileges be extended?

Seeing this comic from xkcd.com made me thinking: Is extending the requirement of admin privileges to things such as connecting to the internet, running the web browser, reading browser and other ...
2
votes
1answer
157 views

Force all user processes to be ptraced

I'm implementing a ptrace based tool for logging system call use. It is much more simple than strace, but I'm doing this so I can learn how these tools work. I'd like to trace all user processes since ...
5
votes
2answers
324 views

Secure OS deployment

I want to deploy operating system images on quite a lot of clients. I know that the images must contain the latest security patches, as well as hotfixes (assuming they are tested and approved for the ...
-1
votes
1answer
121 views

Possible ways to test security for Windows Phone 7 or iOS devices [closed]

I'm trying to test the security features of different types of OSs available, and I decided to narrow this down to the Windows Phone 7 and iOS operating systems. I will be testing both my Nokia 800 ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Are file permissions set in Unix/Linux effective in Windows or Any other OS?

Consider some files and folder in Unix/Linux OS which are configured for only read access by root, if the hard drive stolen, and used in Windows Environment, are these permissions are still effective? ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Is online banking more secure on iOS than a desktop computer?

Does Apple's iOS provide a more secure environment for online commerce (banking or shopping) than Windows or Mac OS X? Since the only software that can run on iOS must be vetted by Apple, the ...
1
vote
3answers
623 views

Debugging and DLL-Injection

Hi, I am currently reading Gray Hat Python to learn about Debugging and various interesting techniques for binary analysis. So far I have learned an amazing amount of stuff (just read about ...
4
votes
2answers
819 views

ASLR and how a program can actually call its functions

I'm studying protection techniques and I've got a doubt about how ASLR works for a program in a Windows environment. As far as I know ASLR works by randomizing part of the imagebase address when ...
4
votes
2answers
876 views

How is hibernation supported, on machines with UEFI Secure Boot?

I've been learning about UEFI Secure Boot, which attempts to prevent "bootkits" by locking down the boot process so that only signed bootloaders and kernels can be loaded. Hibernation seems like a ...
4
votes
1answer
657 views

How does UEFI Secure Boot prevent “evil twin” spoofing attacks?

I've been learning about UEFI Secure Boot. It is designed to prevent malware from infecting the boot process and overwriting the bootloader. It has hardware-level protections to ensure that only a ...
297
votes
13answers
58k views

Are passwords stored in memory safe?

I just realized that, in any language, when you save a password in a variable, it is stored as plain text in the memory. I think the OS does its job and forbids processes from accessing each other's ...
0
votes
3answers
77 views

Is there a way to make changes to a virtual machine, test it out, and automatically make same changes to normal machine?

Is there a way to install programs and make changes to a virtual machine and if they work ok have them applied to the "actual" machine? For example in this question when fiasco_averted says "...only ...
5
votes
6answers
208 views

Is it useful to determine the name of the server software while doing a penetration test?

Getting the name of the server software through netcat or curl or any other method, is really useful? I mean, OS fingerprinting is useful in order to tailor an attack. For example with regard to OS ...
-6
votes
2answers
275 views

What technologies are recommended for E-banking? [closed]

If a Linux user need use his bank account from Internet, then what technologies and procedures should use? Is better to use the Guest Account (if exist) of the OS, or an Administrator Account? What ...
4
votes
1answer
228 views

iPad as a secure access terminal

I administer a number of linux servers (hosted on EC2 and linode) which provide VPN termination for thirty-odd users. I'm considering ditching my Macbook running OSX / Ubuntu in favour of setting up a ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Can you extract memory contents from a hibernated Windows machine?

In a recent discussion about hardware hacks, attacks surrounding Windows hibernate popped up. I am not entirely convinced that it would be viable to get stuff out of the memory saved to disk. When ...
1
vote
1answer
721 views

Different Security Issues Depending on OS? [closed]

I'm interested in learning more about OS specific security issues if there are any. I'm very new to this topic but I want to learn more about if there are specific security vulnerabilities associated ...
88
votes
13answers
8k views

Why do we lock our computers?

It's common knowledge that if somebody has physical access to your machine they can do whatever they want with it1. So why do we always lock our computers? If somebody has physical access to my ...